Brands that conduct in-depth “homework” about their target consumer greatly increase the chances of achieving a successful product launch, according a new study that Bain & Company released to coincide with Advertising Week New York 2019.

Laura Beaudin, partner/global head of marketing excellence at Bain, a management consultancy, discussed this subject during a session at Advertising Week New York.

“We found that launch leaders actually were 2.4 times more likely to do a lot of homework around the particular consumer or audience group that they were trying to reach,” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Bain & Company identifies five key steps for launching products, features and campaigns.)

More specifically, this step helped to ensure “that the messaging, the positioning, and everything else about the launch was perfectly tuned to the audience that they were trying to reach,” Beaudin asserted.

This insight was drawn from Bain’s “Let's Do Launch: Five Critical Moves for Your Next Launch” report, which was co-sponsored by Twitter, the social-media platform.

And the study revealed that the number of launches rose by an average of 27% per company in 2018 to a total of 15,000 overall.

Given this intensifying competition, audience understanding is more important than ever. “That's not just about determining what the demographics of that audience would be,” Beaudin cautioned.

“It’s also about using digital tools and social listening to try to tune the message so that it resonates with that particular audience.”

As the Bain “Let’s Do Launch” study disclosed, “Many prominent launches by otherwise great marketing companies – ranging from Arch Deluxe hamburgers at McDonald’s to Netflix’s Qwikster DVD offering – failed, in part, because marketers did not design and run user research sessions that took real-life behavior into account.”

By contrast, noted Beaudin, quick-service restaurant chain Subway drew on insights from lifestyle media company Tastemade to get a real sense for what new tastes were trending with consumers.

From its 300 million monthly engagements with viewers, Tastemade had the knowledge that Subway needed for a new-product launch – leading to the successful introduction of the Green Goddess Tuna Melt.

As a general rule, Beaudin added, “Marketers said that their most successful campaigns were the ones where they took the time for pre-planning … Those launches were 20% more successful, on average, than their other campaigns.”

Sourced from WARC